What did you Learn?

bigstock-Think-About-It-370467You hear and see this a lot in Innovation Engineering:  “What did you learn?” Those familiar with the question in the context of Innovation Engineering know that t’s not about parroting back the content that was just delivered.  It’s about YOU and what you LEARNED from that information and interaction. I remember my first meeting with Doug Hall sometime in the early 2000’s.  To be honest, I can’t even remember who else it was with.  But I was walking in alongside Doug and we met with someone about something.  When the meeting was over and we headed out Doug asked, of course, “What did you learn?”  Immediately I started listing off all the interesting points that I’d documented during the meeting - as I scoured my extremely detailed item-by-item notes.   Doug replied, “Yes, I know all that.  I was there.  What I’m asking you is what you learned, not what you heard.” That was a first ah-ha moment among many that I’ve had along the way with Eureka!  It meant I actually had to think, I had to reflect.  I had to compute the information and translate it into meaning.  It’s a lesson that I learned all those years ago and that Doug, and now Innovation Engineering, holds tight to this day.  In fact, in our daily staff meetings it’s our very first question - “What did you learn yesterday and what are you doing today?” Because without the pause at the end to reflect, you don’t learn nearly as much.  If you don’t stop for a second and really think about the learning you lose the deeper lesson that’s right there for you - every day. So now back to you,, “What did you learn yesterday?”